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Electric Country Guitar Lessons: “Crazy Arms” - Intermediate Soloing Over Songs

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This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Country Guitar with Guthrie Trapp. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Electric Country Guitar Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

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[MUSIC]
Okay, we're here with Crazy Arms.
We're gonna do this song.
It's a classic country shuffle.
And Ray Price recorded this song and
made it famous,
and I think Willie Nelson
even recorded this song, but
a great country shuffle in
the classic stylings of those guys.
And what we're gonna do is
we're gonna play the melody.
Which this song does have
a pretty distinct melody.
It's to where the other.
Those other songs, they have melodies but
this one is really distinct.
So we're gonna learn the melody.
And then we're gonna work on some soloing
and improvisation ideas on this too.
So let's play the tune.
And we'll work on how to end it,
how to get into it and then the melody.
So we'll spend a little
time here on Crazy Arms.
This is a great, great song to play over,
and it's just a fun groove too.
So here we go.
>> A one, two, three, four, one.
[MUSIC]
Okay, that was Crazy Arms, and
you can see I was doing a few
different things there.
Almost even incorporating a little
bit of some jazzy kinda sounds.
So I'll show you how I got into that.
And again here, I want you to know
that the tab and the PDF files and
a lot of material that's gonna accompany
these lessons, you can reference.
It's very hard for me to play the same
thing twice exactly the same and
that's just because I do play by ear and
I'm kind of more of a feel player.
And I'm very much kind of in
the moment of what is happening
as far as when I'm
improvising on these tunes.
So you don't have to play this stuff
that I'm playing note for note exactly.
It's more of an example, and just to give
you an idea of what this sounds like and
what kind of stuff you can do.
But I will explain this stuff,
and the more advanced we get,
the harder it is for
me to play exactly what I played on
some of these songs note for note,
and to remember exactly what I did.
Because we are improvising and
creating this stuff kinda on the fly.
[MUSIC]
[MUSIC]
I'm gonna get into suggest some
of these concepts of playing
over a song like this.
So what I did to get into this song,
I played a little lick,
it's following this
chord pretty much right
down the pike here.
So we're starting on your
high C bar chord shape.
And I just went
[MUSIC]
right down the scale.
So [COUGH] excuse me,
right down the scale.
So I'm starting on the high C note,
[MUSIC]
so I'm doing a little hammer on there.
[SOUND] And pull off,
[MUSIC]
really quick little accent there.
So
[MUSIC]
so basically, I'm playing those notes.
[MUSIC]
So
[MUSIC]
now, that really bounces along
with that shuffle groove.
So
[MUSIC]
right down the scale,
but it makes a cool little lick.
[MUSIC]
So right there that covers this.
[MUSIC]
Sorry,
[MUSIC]
I forgot to tune up from the last.
[MUSIC]
Good thing I didn't hit that low e string.
[MUSIC]
So that fits perfectly over
[MUSIC]
and then the melody would start right
there or the singer would start singing.
So that lick right there
[MUSIC]
cuz right there, we're going to G.
So,
[MUSIC]
I'm outlining the C chord perfectly right
there by hitting those two notes right
out of the middle of that chord.
[MUSIC]
Now I'm sliding right down
because look what that makes.
That
[MUSIC]
that's G7, right there.
[SOUND] So right out of that chord, when
you start to hear how these notes are so
simple, it takes a minute for it to click.
But when you see the shapes
[MUSIC]
now whatch when I do that.
[MUSIC]
I mean it's a great little chord
note leading almost to where you're kinda
hearing the next chord
come before it does.
Because of the way you're outlining
these chords in such a nice way.
So,
[MUSIC]
now right there I went
[MUSIC]
and then I took this 7th note.
Which I know is right there, [SOUND] and
I slid down with my first finger.
[SOUND] And
went right down this G bar chord shape.
[SOUND] So I went,
[MUSIC]
so,
[MUSIC]
so right there, I went G7,
F note right there, down.
[MUSIC]
Literally right down the chord shape.
[MUSIC]
I outlined that chord shape just as
simply as you can ever imagine.
So right here
[MUSIC]
and then right here.
[SOUND] That covers the G7,
[SOUND] so G to F and
then your next note down
down chromatically.
E is gonna be the measure third of C, so
that makes it sound like its resolving
perfectly, because you're outlining
that chord shape so well.
So,
[MUSIC]
and then there you are,
you've created this whole beautiful intro.
Outlining these chords so perfectly,
it just covers them wonderfully.
So that's your intro, so
then now you're ready to play the melody.
So,
[MUSIC]
so that's the melody of the song.
We're starting on your five note,
you're starting on G
[MUSIC]
and you're going G to A to B flat.
And we're gonna bend that up,
cuz the melody is starting on
this kind of a blues note here.
So,
[MUSIC]
cuz you're going to the four chord right
there.
So you could start it here,
[SOUND] same thing.
[MUSIC]
So it jumps down there to
play the last part of the melody.
So let's do it right here though, for now.
[MUSIC]
F, C, A, G, so
the melody of this song is kind of based
around the five of the key we're in.
So we're in C,
[MUSIC]
but the melody starts on the five,
which is G.
So we're starting right here,
[MUSIC]
a little bend.
[MUSIC]
And then
[MUSIC]
so that's the next
part of that melody.
So we jumped up here to this position, so
[MUSIC]
so we came up here to the major
third of C, which is an e note.
[MUSIC]
Double stop,
[MUSIC]
right back to the G 7th we did.
So that part is the whole
thing,
[MUSIC]
and then you could do.
[MUSIC]
Or let's see,
[MUSIC]
you could do a little lick like that,
right in there in between,
on the five chord.
[MUSIC]
And then right back to your one
[MUSIC]
right back to the C chord.
So that's the melody for Crazy Arms,
and when you are soloing around it,
in a song like this,
it is nice to use double.
You can do some single sting leads, but
the nice double string stuff is so nice.
[MUSIC]
You can
do,
[MUSIC]
so there's
all those
things you can
do there.
There's a great little steel bend you
can do in C out of this position.
[MUSIC]
And you can bend, now I want you to hold
your little finger on the high E,
and bend with your ring finger up.
[MUSIC]
So you're bending like that.
[MUSIC]
So you're
connecting all of
these shapes.
[MUSIC]
So that's how you start getting
around with this stuff.
So that's Crazy Arms, and
it's a great song to improvise over.
And those are some examples for playing
some of that kind of stuff over there.
Like I said, if you got any questions,
please reference me on
the video exchanges here.
So okay, we're gonna move on, thanks.
[MUSIC]